13 Ways To Get Better At Any Sport

How To Be Better At Any Sport

Whether you’re an experienced athlete or a beginner just getting into sports, you can always find ways to improve your skills. From learning new techniques to developing better physical fitness, there are plenty of methods to become a better player in any sport.

Let’s take a look at the 13 I believe are the most important.

1. Understanding Yourself

Take a close look at yourself and honestly assess your abilities. You may need to get input from coaches and other players to give an assessment of where you stand and what you need to improve upon.  Once you have a firm grasp of your strengths and weaknesses, you can plan a practice regimen to become a better player.

2. Set Goals

After assessing your areas that need improvement, set specific goals to achieve throughout the season. Your coach can play a key part in this and create some drills to help you improve. Make sure goals are realistic and attainable. 

Challenge yourself but within reason. If they are too difficult to obtain, you may get discouraged. However, having goals that require effort will keep you motivated.

3. Train Properly

While mastering techniques are important in improving your game, if you are not physically fit, you won’t be able to reach your maximum potential. During the offseason, it’s vital to maintain physical conditioning. It will increase your speed, flexibility, and lower the risk of injury.

4. Absorbing Force

Many activities in sports require the ability to absorb force. Knowing how to train to produce and control force is essential. By effectively absorbing force, you will reduce the risk of injury, be able to start and stop quicker, and will be able to produce more force.

A great exercise to increase the ability to absorb force is the “depth landing.” This exercise begins by standing on a box. Step off with one foot and have both feet contact the floor at the same time.  Stop the body as quickly as possible to absorb the force, trying to land as high as possible. Repeat this exercise several times per set.

5. Hip Hinge Properly

There’s no question that most sports require positions that need the glute muscles for stability and power. Perfecting the hip hinge will strengthen these muscles.  Without hinging properly, the large muscles on the backside of the body cannot work effectively.

Try the “kettlebell deadlift” and the “kettlebell swing” exercises to learn how to hinge properly. The benefits will be great power, more stability, and the ability to quickly transfer from the lower half of your body to the upper half.

6. Strong Overhead Press

While strong chest muscles are important, don’t be so focused on the “bench press” that the “overhead press” is overlooked. Lifting overhead requires mobility in the shoulder, in addition to strong core muscles to control the pelvis and ribs. Increasing shoulder strength will add to the overall upper-body strength, which is a bonus to various athletes.

7. Maintain Individual Leg Strength

There aren’t many occasions where it’s necessary to jump off both feet simultaneously. Therefore, good individual leg strength is vital to power, balance, and stability. The “rear foot elevated split squats,” and the “elevated single-leg squat ” are great exercises to build single-leg strength.” Try both and see your leg strength skyrocket.

8. Create and Release Tension

This is perhaps the most important thing to master. Tension is required to maintain stability, creating the force needed to jump, run faster, land properly from jumping, and make quick starts and stops. Great exercises to help athletes improve in creating and releasing tension are “Turkish get-up” and “core-engaged dead bug.”

9. Train Individually

This is an easy concept to grasp if your sport is an individual sport such as running, golf, or tennis, but when thinking of the team concept, one doesn’t often focus on individual training. Team sports such as basketball, baseball, football, soccer, or hockey focus on team practices and scrimmages.

However, work on your game as an individual before or after practice or during an off day.  Focus primarily on your individual needs, examining what you need the most work on.  Ask your coach to give you one-on-one sessions to improve your weaknesses.

10. Practice Makes Perfect

Yes, it’s an old cliché that people may be tired of hearing, but it’s true. Developing the skills and techniques necessary to succeed in any sport can take months or years. The most effective way to master new skills, which will build confidence and make you thrive as a player, is to practice, practice, and more practice.

10. Improve Self-Confidence

One of the goals of a coach is to instill confidence in his or her players. Confidence in sports is shown in pressure-packed situations where a player knows he or she has the skills to get the job done at that moment.

Building confidence all comes down to practice. The harder you practice skills, the more likely you execute them in a game. Be careful of becoming overconfident. This can lead to a nonchalant attitude and a failure to execute.  This can shatter confidence and make you wary of trying in the next pressure-packed situation.

11. Prepare Intelligently

During the offseason, you should continue a strength and conditioning program. But don’t let it stop there.  Be sure to prepare in cycles before upcoming games. This cycle depends on how close in proximity each game is.  Fuel the body with proper nutrition around 4-to-6 times daily. 

On game day, exercise lightly to get the blood flowing to the muscles. Keeping your body as healthy as possible allows for optimal results while avoiding injury risk.

12. Know The Game

This may sound basic, but the more you know about the game you are playing, the better your chances of succeeding.  Thanks to increased technology, you can get deep into the strategies of the game of your choosing.

Take a look at videos of professionals and coaches. Dig deep into the minds of the best. Some bits here and there may sink in, which will help improve your game. The more knowledge, the better.

13. Seek Expert Advice

Don’t limit your expert advice to just the sport you play. While the skills involved may differ, the approach and mental fortitude are similar regardless of the sport. Watch the determination and will to succeed and incorporate that into your specific sport. 

Whether watching an event on tv or online through various video and streaming services, pay attention to how the best in the world do it. You can learn from them and take your game to new levels.

Conclusion

The 13 tips above will help catapult your skills to the next level, no matter what sport you’re playing or trying to improve. While some may seem like no-brainers, it’s easy to forget or overlook them in the heat of the moment. So whether you’re just getting started or are a seasoned veteran, keep these pointers in mind next time you hit the court, field, course, pool, etc.